Career Development Plan
Career Mission Statement as a Social Worker
A career development plan is a compass meant to enable its creator to navigate through the chosen career path. It is a thorough and honest account of an individual’s career mission statement, strengths, weaknesses and career goals. Failing to plan is planning to fail, and, in the same way, the career development plan is a bulletproof vest in a deadly corporate or business world. The following essay provides the detailed career development plan for a social worker. My career mission is progressing into a social worker capable of applying learned information to real life situations and achieving the highest levels of professionalism, ethics, and excellence.
Early Career Goals
It is important to set early career goals that will transition into the long-term goals. On top of the list of goals is the profound desire to find a career that does not feel like a job. Fortunately, this first part has been addressed and a vocation has been selected. The chosen career is that of social work. The job description of a social worker involves spending copious amount of time with individuals from diverse spectrums of life and dealing with real life issues. There is no textbook sun that can teach this exact science or art of dealing with people and their issues. Therefore, real job offers the best learning experience.
However, to achieve this, social workers need all the help they can get. Ergo, the second early career goal is finding a mentor. The worker who has been in the social work arena can show someone else the ropes of the business. After finding and ideal mentor, the next goal is to recognize personal life as a brand and build it. Reputation is everything. At the early career stage, it will be crucial to build a brand founded on the reputation of excellence and reliability.
In light of this need, the next goal will be to develop and maintain a sustainable career network. Thus, the plan is to attend networking events regularly and become a better networker. The next career goal that proceeds after this is ideal collaboration. The goal is to collaborate when possible, as opposed to competing. At an early stage of the career, it is wise to create a thriving network and capitalize on as many synergy opportunities as possible (Hall, 1996). This approach will propel growth faster than primal competition, because at this early stage, it is more important to set a stable foundation.
Among all parts of the early career goals, an important feature is communication skills. It is especially important in the selected line of work. The goal here is to optimize and ensure that communication is succinct and efficient. It contributes significantly to tailoring the above reputation and cementing the brand. Effective communication breeds an aura of predictability and confidence. People tend to trust and work with someone whose behavior can be predicted, and their confidence infects them to believe in their vocation.
Away the constructs of laying a foundation, the next step should be laying down the primary building blocks. As part of the early career goal setting process, one has to set new aims within the old ones to renew passion and precipitate focus (Hall, 1996). With this approach in mind, a viable early career goal within a goal would be to double productivity at the workplace and get a promotion. On the same note, it is important to remember to organize daily objectives. They could be personal or stipulated by the workplace. These daily goals should hold precedence and, if possible, be tailored to meet the bigger early career targets. Moreover, it is important to remain relevant, because it is easy to be obsolete in this dynamic world. Therefore, one should update their resume and cover letter as often as possible.
Finally, a crucial early career goal should be the formulation of the long-term career plan. Career goals act as a skeleton. The long-term career plan is the flesh and blood that ultimately boils down to the beauty of success. The early career goals should mimic building blocks that transform seamlessly into the long-term career plan. In essence, the long-term career plan should be a conglomeration of early career goals.
Assessment of Strengths and Weaknesses
As explained earlier, a good career development plan has an honest assessment of the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. It is the cardinal rule of any strategy. With relation to the social work, there are strengths that are peculiar to that career. However, the knowledge of one’s weaknesses is crucial for success. The requisite skills in the field of social work include good listening skills, interviewing skills, ability to engage, case management and treatment planning skills as well as the capability to conduct a bio-psychosocial assessment. My skills are in line with the requisite skills. For instance, my ability to build relationships with the government, stakeholders, staff and clients is suitable and necessary for engaging individuals during the social work.
For an award-winning scholar, the ability to conduct a bio-psychosocial assessment is a welcomed challenge that falls squarely in my fortes of continual personal and professional development. Treatment planning skills call for an original way to approaching problems. Thankfully, the drive to utilize research and analysis to execute innovative processes is a skill that has been gained in the process of my work in the health sector. International journalism has been crucial for developing my interviewing skills required in the social work sector. Combined international journalism and social work culminate excellent listening skills that form a prerequisite for any social worker. My weaknesses include a sometimes melting pot of impatience, infrequent insolence, perfectionism and an acuity to over-empathize.
Identification of Supervisory Style and Needs for Licensing and Continuing Education Needs
A continuing professional development plan (CPD) is the process of learning that compliments accrued education and amplifies professional effectiveness (Alsop, 2000). It includes a myriad of activities aimed at development. Some of these activities with regards to social work include certifications, subscriptions to member groups or selected career journals and magazines, attending conferences, workshops and seminars, work-oriented research and voluntary work.
In relation to certification, a great example of accreditation that could be instrumental in social work and go a long way in personal development is a certificate in Trauma response and Crisis Intervention of a certificate program in Case Management. As a professional, it is my sole prerogative to make sure that I am at my best and able to provide quality service. In addition to accreditation as part of continued learning and professional development, another integral part is subscription to relevant magazines and journals. This is especially useful in maintaining relevance and being up-to-date with innovations, revised procedures and new trends in the social work sector.
As part of the progressive development plan and in regard to subscriptions, I will join the National Association of Social Workers. This is a petri dish of valuable resources for any social worker. It is an ideal place to go to when one needs new perspectives, mentorship and conversation in order to avoid burn out. In addition, it might give a member social worker numerous opportunities to develop and sustain professional networks.
Undertaking voluntary work and work-related research is tantamount to sharpening iron with iron. It hones the skills and makes one more efficient, because practice is the route to perfection. However, the professional development plan cannot exist in vacuum or singularity. It needs an action plan to thrive. The action plan should be formulated to be realistic, but committed to the confines of discipline and time. It is very easy to dismiss continuing learning as a necessity for professional development and become complacent. It is vital to remember that the plan inadvertently serves an even more important role, which is personal growth.
According to the National Association of Social Workers (2013), there are several types of supervision in social work. They include administrative, supportive and educational forms. Each type has its own unique needs. The administrative supervision involves the execution of administrative methods meant to gift social workers the ability to effectively meet their clients’ needs. Educational supervision is meant to satiate the need of the supervisee for social work knowledge, philosophy and skills. Supportive supervision, on the other hand, is meant to alleviate stress and impede burn out. As the name suggests, it is a support system for the supervisee, but the supervisor could benefit from it unwittingly as well. Aligning myself to seek out the administrative and supportive type of supervision is paramount (National Association of Social Workers, 2013).
Licensing is state dependent. For instance, in order to be a licensed social worker in Maryland, one needs to meet the requirements of LSWA, LGSW, LCSW or LCSW-C. It is important for me to identify the state I would like to work in and the relevant licensing requirements. As explained earlier, education is priceless for a career development plan. Knowledge is power, and the more knowledge one has, the more power he possesses to execute duties well.
Avoiding/Preventing Burn-Out and Self Care Plan
Burn out is the phenomenon of long-term exhaustion and subsequent disinterest in work. There are several ways to avoid burn outs. For starters, resting or removing oneself from work is crucial. It revitalizes the spirit, refreshes the mind and ensures that the social worker is not bogged down under the weight of exhaustion. As part of the self-care plan, vacations are a necessity. The next strategy is to find a mentor or a supervisor. A burned out worker needs someone to vent to who can give useful advice. Other activities that are just as important include sports, travelling, interacting with friends and general activities that bring pleasure.